NEWS Tuesday 23rd May 2006, 10:00am

by Mike Hunter

The Scotwaste Monarchs now commence the main business of the season as they open their home Premier League programme on Friday with a visit from the Isle of Wight Islanders (start time 7.30pm)

The Islanders are something of an unknown quantity as their top two riders, Aussie sensation Chris Holder and highly rated Pole Krzysztof Stojanowski, have not previously ridden Armadale. A home win is expected but the Monarchs will be aiming for a good score to help them win the aggregate bonus when they travel to the Island venue later in the year.


There is no doubt that Chris Holder is a special talent and could go on to join his countrymen at the pinnacle of the GP series in due course.

He has twice won the Australian Under-21 Championship and is hot on the trail of the World Under-21 title after easily qualifying from the Sheffield quarter final.

Former Mildenhall promoter Colin Barber has said he is ?better than Billy Sanders?, exceptional praise since the late Sanders was twice in the World's top three.

It will be interesting to see how the all-action Holder copes with Armadale which is smaller than most tracks he has raced.


Monarchs race at Glasgow on Monday evening in the second leg of the Spring Trophy.

Start time is 7.30pm, and Monarchs start with a 6-point advantage from the Armadale leg.


Monarchs' captain Theo Pijper, a full-time professional motorcyclist, says he would like to be riding every day.

So he will be happy this week as he rides on Thursday in a grasstrack event at Ludinghausen in Germany, then Armadale, then goes to Pfarrkirchen (Germany) for his 2-day World Longtrack semi-final before returning to Ashfield on Monday!


No restaging date has been agreed for the second leg of the KO Cup tie with Newport, rained off on Sunday.


Keyline Broxburn return to Armadale on Friday as sponsors for the second time this season.

TEAMS FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE MATCH AT ARMADALE ON FRIDAY 26th MAY (start time 7.30, doors open 6.30) are:

EDINBURGH SCOTWASTE MONARCHS: Henrik Moller, Theo Pijper (capt.), Matthew Wethers, William Lawson, Rusty Harrison, Sean Stoddart, Derek Sneddon.

ISLE OF WIGHT WIGHTLINK ISLANDERS: Chris Holder, Jason Doyle, Krister Marsh, Krzysztof Stojanowski, Jason Bunyan, Chris Johnson, Nick Simmons.


The Isle of Wight track at Smallbrook Stadium is a big one, very fast, so while their riders are perhaps not small track experts, they do attack the smaller circuits in a thrilling manner!

Holder and Stojanowski may lead the way but experienced Jason Bunyan, who has come back well from a broken leg last season, and improving Australian second string Jason Doyle may also give Monarchs plenty to think about.

The Islanders ride with two grade B reserves and they could be a useful pair as they have plenty of previous Premier experience.

LAST WEEK'S MEETING: Monarchs defeated Newport 56-40 in a hard-fought Knockout Cup first leg tie. Rusty Harrison and Theo Pijper both scored 12 points for the victors. The second leg at Newport on Sunday was rained off.

NEXT WEEK'S MEETING: The Scotwaste Monarchs need to win by more than 12 points against Sheffield on 2nd June to take the Premier Trophy bonus and maintain a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.